Uganda to Provide Nevirapine for All Pregnant Women
The Ugandan Health Ministry is considering a mandate to require that all pregnant women receive nevirapine, a drug that can reduce vertical HIV transmission by up to 50%. Because many women are reluctant to get tested for HIV, it has been difficult for the government to get the drug to HIV-positive women, the Kampala Monitor reports. Director-General of Health Services Francis Omaswa on Thursday told the parliamentary committee on social services that the health ministry was working on a plan to administer the drug, which the government already provides free of charge, at all district hospitals. Omaswa also announced a plan to create a center for voluntary HIV testing. At present, Mulago, Nsambya, Rugaba and Mengo hospitals, along with the Mild May Center and the Joint Clinical Research Center, are qualified to administer the drug. The agency has already implemented a nevirapine training curriculum for graduate and undergraduate medical students at Makerere and Mbarara universities. The ministry also plans to select a pharmacist to lead the National Medical Stores to ensure that the drug is not smuggled to other countries where it can be sold for high prices (Kampala Monitor, 9/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.